Building the On-Demand Workforce | Boston Consulting Group

Talent Management

The 4 B method – Buy, Borrow, Build, and Bot – is a framework used by organizations to develop talent strategies that address talent needs. And while the Borrow component of this framework has been utilized increasingly over the past few years, the pandemic has made this talent lever even more appealing to many organizations. Borrow –which leverages part-time, freelance, contract, temporary workers, etc., to meet talent needs– provides firms with access to skills they don’t have internally and enables flexible cost models that help manage the ebb and flow of talent demand. However, the full potential of a Borrow strategy remains untapped as many firms use it in a transactional manner to quickly fill talent needs versus making it part of a well-thought-out talent strategy. This 32-page report highlights how firms can employ an effective Borrow strategy and offers five imperatives (beginning on p.21) for doing so, including redefining work into discrete components. This tactic breaks work down into rigorously defined parts to identify work that can be transitioned to an external on-demand/ gig workforce versus work done by a firm’s internal workforce, versus automation. For two other articles on deconstructing work into specific tasks, check out Dave Ulrich and John Boudreau. For an abridged version of the BCG report, you can also check out the HBR article version.

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